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Sunday, 27 December 2015

ReDevelopment -Part 5 - Sample Flat

It seemed only yesterday (although one year has passed) that I moved out from my home to a rented flat and saw my old 50-years-old building crumble down to ashes. A new foundation stone was laid, and the walls were raised again. The year went by, some months spent in recovering from pain (due to post operative care) and then a long four months tour around USA.

I came back to see the new structure rise up to fourteen stories. The name has been changed from ‘Daulat Baugh’ to ‘Satguru Shlok’ The work has been immaculately done and details have been added to ensure quality. We were asked to come and inspect the sample flat.

I am not easy to please. I am happy with the construction and the materials used in the sample flat, the walls, the fixtures, the style, everything is good but am very disappointed with the size of the rooms. I walked from room to room, maneuvered over the  length and the breath of the rooms, how would I accommodate the furniture into the small space?

The trick is to minimise our possessions, but how do we throw away the stuff that has been collected over the years? What not does the person need? I am making the list in my head and there are clothes, shoes, bedsheets, towels, utensils, bags, art work, sewing kits, books, the list is endless.

Maybe I am too spoilt. I hate borrowing things and like to have everything that is required in the house for comfortable living. My relationship with family and friends is good and I often entertain. With such small houses, entertaining becomes difficult.

That means I will have to change my living style.

Do not complain, I am told, be grateful that you have a new house with all state-of-art affairs like swimming pool around the podium, walking track on the terrace and millions of plants and lights around the building. Building will be the pride of the neighbors and every person will be awed by its beauty.

That’s the promise.

Compromise, compromise, compromise…that’s what is expected from me.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Watching Sunset at Lewisville River in Dallas

The greatest joy for me  is to sit by the river side and watch the sunset. I love beach too but walking on the sand, getting my feet dirty is not my idea of fun. Nor do I like to walk on slimy rocks where there is danger of losing my balance. Its just water that I am attracted to, the rippling sound of the waves, the cool winds touching the shores, and staring in the sky for hours watching the different shapes of the clouds that change ever second.

I was thrilled therefore, when my cousin in Dallas organised a boat ride on Lewisville river, one Sunday afternoon during my visit  to his town. Watching the sunset from the seashore is different, having done that many times, at every opportunity that I have got, but to watch it while sitting in the boat, surrounded by water on all sides, the birds diving to catch a fish and the mild breeze..its completely a pleasant experience.

The meeting was set at around 5pm. We were a group of eight members, family, friends and kids too, that added extra joy with their chatter. It was a private recreational area for members who owned boats.

One could spend all day here. A long expanse of free space, surrounded by water, trees and open space. There were lawn furnitures everywhere for people who would like to picnic at the site.

A proper concrete path to reach the curb cut where the boats were parked.

It was most beautiful speed boat that I have ever sat in. soft comfortable, low couches and enough room to relax.  

The sun was beginning to set.

We started as soon as we were ready to sail, at a speed so high that I wished I had life jacket (although it was not really necessary). When it stopped in the middle of the river, I was totally disarrayed and deperatedly looked for comb to straighten my hair.

While our boat stood still, rocking pleasantly on the waters, we snacked on delicious sandwiches that my cousin had picked up from a restaurant. Perfect sandwiches of meat, vegetable salad and spicy sauces.

We watched the sun move slowly down the horizon, changing the colors of the sky from yellow to deep red.

So grateful to my cousin and his family in Dallas who created this opportunity for me……a memorable day to relish for a lifetime.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Senior Citizen Day Care Home

Senior citizens can continue to live in a comfortable world if proper infrastructure is provided for them. Their children are all grown up now, and their duties almost complete, they have the time to do what they please, if their health permits. Sadly they have the limited capacity to do things and they get bored easily. Okay, I agree, they can go for walks, or to religious or social events, or watch TV all day, but still that is not enough. Their family have the life of their own and may not get time to pamper their parents, so its important that there is some day care centre where they can be entertained regularly.

One such seniors day care centre I visited in Frisco, a small town in Dallas. My uncle and aunt, who are in their late 70s, visit this government sponsored centre regularly. A bus transports them to and fro from their house to the centre, picking up more seniors on their way. Frisco Senior Centre is a beautiful place to spend few hours everyday.

This one has an impressive entrance that sets you in the mood.

They have volunteers on regular basis who come to help with different activities. There are regular doctor visits for different problems like ENT, heart specialist, physicians, etc who look after their health problems and advise them on how to keep fit providing free medications.

There are lots of activities happening at this centre. Every month they have birthday celebration where the seniors celebrate their birthday month together. During my stay in Dallas, it was my uncle’s birthday, and I decided to attend the birthday party.

Everybody was asked to bring a dish catering to eight people. There was a great variety of food from every participant. People were called to the dinning area in turns, by calling out the birthday persons first, then smaller groups according to their table numbers. Everything was systematically managed. There was variety entertainment program after lunch. Birthday persons were given a chance to speak about themselves, and this was followed by musical show put up by the senior people at the centre. It was interesting to see all the participants dressed in cowboy style with hats and scarfs and singing the country songs.  The music program was amazing. I was told that they had been practising for this day since a month, sometimes waiting till late evenings. They had formed their own music and singing group and met regularly at the centre.

How can they ever get bored when the centre provides all the comfort? Different room had different activities and people could choose the room according to their interest.

There were cards room with round tables, this also had comfortable sofas for people who sit prefer to relax watching TV.

In the canteen room, one could buy food and drinks at nominal rates

While some people chatted over cup of coffee, there were separate tables for people who preferred to enjoy playing board games with friends.

In one room there were 2 billiard tables..what a wonderful game!

There was table-tennis room

Art and craft room had people who were interested in needle work and other handicraft work. They sat together to create beautiful work that they sold during annual exhibition held at the centre itself. I had the opportunity to visit the exhibition on another day and even bought shawls, and costume jewellery.

In the gym room, besides the equipments there was a large TV too so that they could watch TV while exercising.

Then was was a computer room where you could check your mail or play online.

The library room was really beautiful with comfortable sofa and a soft music in the background.

Every morning, five days a week, uncle and aunt get ready at 9am to wait for the bus to arrive and they are gone for good 4-5hours at the centre, come home after lunch to get their afternoon sleep, go to the park in the evenings and late evenings they sit with their ipads or TV and watch their favourite programs. Outstation trips are also planned regularly, while I was there, uncle spoke about the cruise that the centre was organising at nominal rates of 500 US dollars for one week stay. Uncle was quite excited to take this trip because he is very fond of travelling.

Their time is spend beautifully and family members happy too that their senior members have some diversions away from home……

Monday, 31 August 2015

Fishing Trail at Bull Sluice Lake

No, I do not go out for fishing, I don't even have the patience to wait for a catch, but nevertheless, I was very amused at the little boy of 5years jumping up and down excitedly, waiting to see the fish trapped on the line. He helped his father roll in the cord and would hand the rod back to his father,then run back few meters away and wait while his papa adjusted the bait at the end of the line and swing the fishing line to the far end of the lake and then he would come back to hold the rod and hoping to lure a catch.

Bull Sluice Lake is the extension of Chattahoochee Lake that I had visited earlier. This is the shallow end of the lake closer to the Morgan Falls Dam, that generates enough electricity to light up more than 4000 homes in the Atlanta

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Centennial Olympic Park Is a Lovely Spot To Visit In Atlanta.

The first thing that attracted me as I approached the Centennial Olympic Park was the voice of the singer, Tina P as she performed in the concerts on the recreation side of the park at Southern Company Amphitheater.

It could be heard all the way for quite a distance  till we reached the ‘Fountain of Rings’, and then I got distracted with the children playing in the interactive water sprinklers. We had just missed the 6:30 session of computer-controlled lights and jets of water that synchronizes with music. But it fun, watching young kids in the water play area that consists of 251 jets over five large olympics rings.

There were different flags surrounding the fountain area, that represented the host countries of each summer Olympics preceding the 1996 games.

Eight 65 foot tall light towers reminds me of classical Greek marker columns.

There were several pieces of sculptures scattered through the park.

The walking path was paved with small engraved bricks, alternating light and dark red, with short messages, bought by people who supported by contributing towards the cost for construction of this park.

We sat in the park for sometimes and then walked on the other side to enjoy the excellent views of the park and the surrounding area in a joy ride on the 200 foot ferris wheel, till the sun begun to settle down.

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